Her Majesty the Queen had a lifelong association with Cumberland Lodge.
We can see in our visitors’ book that in 1936, a 10-year-old Princess ‘Elizabeth of York’ was here alongside Her Majesty Queen Mary; Elizabeth, Duchess of York (later the Queen Mother); Prince Albert, Duke of York (later King George VI), and Princess Margaret.
During the Second World War, the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret lived at nearby Windsor Castle and were friends with Alathea Fitzalan Howard, who was living here at the Lodge with her paternal uncle, Lord Fitzalan of Derwent. Alathea’s diaries share stories of her time with her royal friends, and some of these were adapted for publication (The Windsor Diaries, curated by Isabella Naylor-Leyland).
In 2003, Her Majesty the Queen became Patron of Cumberland Lodge as a charitable foundation, following the passing of our founding Patron, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. However, Queen Elizabeth II had been a regular visitor here since her childhood.
The photograph below shows Her Majesty visiting Cumberland Lodge in 1997 for a garden party to mark the 50th anniversary of our charitable work. Our Head Chef, Robert Szewczyk, also pictured, recalls how the Queen made events held here over the years quite special by attending.
The visit followed a Service of Thanksgiving held at the Royal Chapel in Windsor Great Park, which Her Majesty attended with Princess Margaret, who was Visitor of Cumberland Lodge.
Her Majesty also planted a tree in our gardens for the occasion – something she repeated in July 2002 to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty’s Accession.
In 2007, Her Majesty visited us to mark the 60th anniversary of our work, and again in 2017 for our 70th anniversary, when Her Majesty was joined by the Duke of Edinburgh at our celebrations.
The Queen met our staff and spoke to some of the young people – Cumberland Lodge Fellows – who work with us.
The Queen’s final private visit to Cumberland Lodge was in February 2020, to meet more of our Fellows and hear their ideas for new interdisciplinary discussion sessions for students visiting us on university study retreats.
Pictured are just some of Her Majesty’s visits, but there were also many other occasions where what must be thousands of young people, or others engaged in our work, had the opportunity to meet our Patron either here or after Sunday services at the Royal Chapel.
We are grateful for all of the support we received from Her Majesty throughout her reign.
Thank you, Ma’am.
If you met the Queen during your time at Cumberland Lodge and would be happy to share your memories with us, we’d be delighted to hear from you. Please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by tagging @cumberlandlodge on social media.